Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

Revenger is one of my few reading picks so far this year. I particularly liked the worldbuilding. Alastair Reynolds has created an interesting world that is Victorianesque. Some may want to put it into the Steampunk category, but it doesn’t really fit as it’s filled with a mixture of far-future and not-so-far-future tech and really only has the social trappings of the 19th century. The plot also has a 19th century feel drawn mostly from (solar) sailing and a few pirates. It might also be described as YA, but this derives mostly from the age of the protagonist and a first person narration, but that shouldn’t be held against it.

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Rook’s Gambit – A review of The Red Rook at HeroSandwich.net (link)

A review of The Red Rook by Scott Slemmons on HeroSandwich.net

http://www.herosandwich.net/2013/08/14/rooks-gambit/

Verdict: Thumbs up. Much like the first book, there are a lot of excellently drawn characters and dialogue, and a wonderful plot. Penny is an excellent protagonist — probably a better one than Michael was in the first book, ’cause Penny has a lot more common sense and charisma than Michael did.
—Scott Slemmons, Rook’s Gambit

Wiki version
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Freeware PDF Printers Compared (link)

If you’re like me, then you rely on your PDF printer, both for writing and for more mundane uses, such as printing receipts, etc. I like PDFCreator ( http://www.pdfforge.org/ ), but you don’t need to listen to me sing its praises (OK, maybe a little). PDFCreator does more than just print PDF, it also lets you print into various graphic file formats, such as PNG and JPEG.

So, if you’re interested in a good comparison of freeware PDF printers, check out The best freeware virtual PDF printer: a comparison at freewaregenius.com ( http://www.freewaregenius.com/2011/06/16/the-best-freeware-virtual-pdf-printer-a-comparison/ ).

Megamind Megafun!

Taking a few hours away from my push to complete Dispensing Justice I went to see Megamind yesterday and was megapleased with it. It was the best supervillain movie that I have seen to date (Despicable Me being my second choice), although The Incredibles remains my favorite superhero film. In the pantheon of movies from 2010, Megamind rocks!

Megamind hits all the right notes, at least if you are interested in an action packed, animated spectacle. Did I mention that it was funny and sweet, too? I should note that I didn’t see the 3D version, but I plan on going back for just that. The only other movie to draw me back to the theatre this year was RED.

Megamind is well plotted, has excellent characterization, ripping dialogue, and engrossing world building. Megamind was fine tuned down to within an inch of its life. And in a good way. It even managed to surprise me a couple of times.

Bottom line, run, don’t walk, to the theatre and see Megamind.

Speed Racer mini-review

Merideth, John, and I went to see Speed Racer last night. Here’s a my mini-review:

If you overlook the simplistic plot, trite clichés, and the not infrequent wooden acting, it was a visually spectacular. Eyeball laceratingly spectacular. Don’t go see Speed Racer if you can be induced to vomit just by watching bright colors in motion. Do go see Speed Racer if you want to see the closest thing to a live-action cartoon (yet).

Orphan Stars Against A Dark Background

I ran across an article in physorg.com about orphan stars and this made me think of one of book that I quite enjoyed. So I thought I would go back and find a mini-review (transplanted to the wiki) that I wrote on Against A Dark Background by Iain M. Banks back in 1993. Here it is:

A profoundly dark book. Banks kept me on the edge of my seat both with his intricate culture and well organized plot. Rather than giving all the pertinent details of the history and character backgrounds he leaves them lying like small mental land mines. As I made my way through ”AADB” I found myself stumbling over these cunningly crafted bits of information and each time I experienced an explosion of implication that would light up the background only to fade away leaving a spectral images of potential. An excellent read.